News  |  19.11.2021

Call for applications: PhD in tropical forestry

The RUFAC project (Reforestation in Forest Management Units in Cameroon) aims to contribute to the sustainable management of Cameroon's timber production forests by mobilizing private and public stakeholders around reforestation and future forest management strategies.

Call for applications: PhD in tropical forestry

Thus, by aiming at the restoration of the forest cover and the maintenance of the populations of commercial species in the Forest Management Units (FMUs), the RUFAC project will contribute to the Programme for the Improvement of Governance in the Forest Environment (PAMFOR; of the National Indicative Program (NIP) of the 11th EDF (European Development Fund)) of Cameroon.

The specific objective of the project is to enrich, through a participatory and inclusive approach, the Forest Management Units (FMU) with local species in Cameroon. The project is implemented by ATIBT, Nature +, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (University of Liège, GxABT), ENSET (University of Douala) in collaboration with four forestry companies (Pallisco, Alpicam-Grumcam, SEFAC, SEEF).

Objectives of the PhD

Various plantation trials have been carried out in Cameroon, mainly since 2003, by GxABT-ULiège and Nature+ within the framework of partnerships with private companies (some of which have now stopped their activities: SFID, Wijma).

Some trials have been followed up and the results published. However, these trials were only analyzed in the short term, with a limited number of species and replications. In order to best adapt practices to each degraded environment, more robust analyses are required. With this in mind, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech wishes to recruit a PhD student for four years.

His activities will consist of modeling the growth of the various species in the different environments and quantifying the volumes of wood available in the long term. An analysis of production costs and expected benefits will also be carried out. This will make it possible to identify the most profitable techniques and, if necessary, to define the extent of the financial incentives required.

On the other hand, the preparation of plantation sites often requires partial destruction of competing vegetation, which is done with machetes, chainsaws and sometimes bulldozers. In addition, as the plantation ages, thinning is required. This results in a carbon emission that should be quantified and compared to the carbon fixed by the growing trees. The resulting carbon balance sheet will be used to assess the interest of forestry companies in getting involved in mechanisms linked to the carbon market or payment for environmental services.


Profile sought

The candidate must :

- hold a Master's degree in forest management, or equivalent, obtained no more than 5 years after the last Master's degree ;

- have a passion for tropical forestry and forest ecology

- Demonstrate modeling skills;

- Manage and harmonize large databases;

- conduct field surveys in sometimes difficult conditions in Cameroon (camp stays, long walks,...) for 4 to 5 months per year;

- Write scientific articles in English and review notes in French;

- adapt to a multicultural environment.

The candidate will be available from January 1st 2022 for a period of 4 years. He/she will benefit from a PhD scholarship from the University of Liege (about 2000 euros net per month). He/she will be based at the Tropical Forestry Laboratory in Gembloux.

Interested candidates should send their application by email to by December 3. The application should include: (i) a letter of motivation, (ii) a CV, (iii) the methodology of the envisaged research (maximum one page). The whole file must be put together in a single document in pdf format.

The candidate will be co-supervised by Prof. JL. Doucet (GxABT), Dr G. Ligot (GxABT), Dr A. Biwolé (ENSET, University of Douala).

Download the call for applications


[1] Doucet, J. L., Kouadio, Y. L., Monticelli, D., & Lejeune, P. (2009). Enrichment of logging gaps with moabi (Baillonella toxisperma Pierre) in a Central African rain forest. Forest Ecology and Management258(11), 2407-2415. Doucet, J. L., Daïnou, K., Ligot, G., Ouédraogo, D. Y., Bourland, N., Ward, S. E., ... & Fayolle, A. (2016). Enrichment of Central African logged forests with high-value tree species: testing a new approach to regenerating degraded forests. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management12(1-2), 83-95.


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